Archive for September 27, 2007

Excellent LibGuides Review

Special thanks to Scott Pfitzinger over at BiblioTech Web for one of the most glowing LibGuides reviews we have received to date.  Here is an excerpt from his post…

Last week I found out about one of the coolest library technologies that’s come down the pike. It’s a Web 2.0 application designed for Library 2.0. It’s called LibGuides and it’s worth getting excited about.  It’s a system for providing information and resources to library patrons in an engaging and organized way, but without the information providers (mainly librarians) needing to learn code or some complicated system. (I’ll refer to the people creating content in LibGuides as librarians from here on in, although they can certainly be non-librarians.) Statistics are even kept automatically, so you can see how many times each link or file was actually clicked on. They count click-throughs, not page views, so your statistics are more accurate…

Please visit BiblioTech Web at http://www.bibliotechweb.com/archives/2007/09/25/libguides/ for the complete post, and be sure to leave Scott a comment letting him know your thoughts on LibGuides!

Searching Your Catalog from LibGuides

The process of configuring LibGuides to search your library catalog can be a little tricky.  Here is a step-by-step guide to assist you with the process:

1) Start off by browsing to your library website and locating your catalog search page.

2) Set any search preferences that you would like to use, and enter a simple search term into the search box.  For this example, we will use the word “hamburger” as our search string.  Once your search string has been entered, click the provided button to submit your search.

3) The next screen you see should be your search results page.  Copy the URL from the address bar, open your favorite text editor (Notepad, TextEdit, MS Word), and paste the URL into a new document.  This will allow us to easily view and edit the URL in the upcoming steps.

 4) Look at your URL, and try to locate the search term that you provided in step #2.  When you have found the term, replace it with the word {search}, leaving all the surrounding text intact.  Here is a before and after example of what the URLs may look like:

BEFORE:
http://catalog.springshare.com?action=find&results=5&qval=hamburger&bool=true

AFTER:
http://catalog.springshare.com?action=find&results=5&qval={search}&bool=true

*Note – if your URL did not contain your search term, please contact us at support@springshare.com for assistance.

5) Copy the updated URL containing the {search} placeholder, and then login to your LibGuides system using an account with administrator access.  Click on the “System Settings” tab and look for an entry labelled “Catalog Search URL”.  Click in the space provided, paste your new URL into the box, and click the “Save” button to save your changes.

6) Once the new URL has been provided, you can test the catalog search feature from any of the search boxes provided within LibGuides.

Some catalog vendors include session or request information in the search URL to help keep track of each search that is submitted.  In some cases this can cause problems when trying to search from within LibGuides.  If you followed the steps above, and are still running into problems configuring your system, please let us know and we will be happy to help you troubleshoot!

Voilà – Diacritics in LibGuides

Good news for our foreign users, as well as for librarians who are subject specialists in foreign languages and literature. We have upgraded LibGuides to include full support for diacritics. Now you can add links, pages, profiles, Guide names, descriptions, etc. and diacritics will work fine. Try it out!

Special thanks to our Swedish friends for helping us out with this issue.

145 and Counting!

Located in Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University is one of the first members of the LibGuides community located outside of the United States.  One of Canada’s leading universities, Dalhousie is widely recognized for outstanding academic quality and teaching, and a broad range of educational and research opportunities.

Since joining Libguides a few months ago, Dalhousie librarians have created an incredible list of 145 subject guides, ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Italian Studies.  I asked Fran Nowakowski, Information Literacy Coordinator at Dalhousie, how they were able to create so much content in so little time, and this is what she had to say:

LibGuides came along at exactly the right time for us. The method we were using for our subject content was not answering our needs but we needed something in place by September. When I saw LibGuides I knew it was what we needed. The interface is very easy to use and the LibGuides team are very responsive to suggestions for improvements particularly the integration of web 2.0 elements such as meebo and del.icio.us tags. The librarians love it because it is so easy to use and enables them to respond quickly to changing needs.

Kudos to everyone at Dalhousie for creating a very impressive research tool for their patrons!

LibGuides at Dalhousie University:
http://libguides.library.dal.ca/

Dalhousie University – Engineering Guides:
http://libguides.library.dal.ca/search.php?search=engineering

Dalhousie University – Business Rearch Guide:
http://libguides.library.dal.ca/content.php?pid=570

Honorable Mentions

There has been quite a bit of blog activity regarding Springshare and LibGuides lately.  Special thanks to the following blogging librarians (blogarians?) for their recent reviews and comments regarding our community!

MichaelRoy @ The Kenyon LIS Blog
Elisabeth @ Elisabeth Leonard on Libraries
Ken @ tracking changes/changing tracks

LibGuides Email Alerts

LibGuides now features email alerts. This new feature enables patrons to stay on top of the latest LibGuides content, and it gives  libraries another way to reach out to their customers and promote library content. Any LibGuides visitor can register for email alerts, and receive an email every time their favorite content is published. A user can choose to get an email every time a new Guide is published, or every time a new guide with certain tags (keywords) is published, or – last but not least – every time their favorite librarians (up to 5) publish new content.

LibGuides Email Alerts

Check out this new feature by registering for alerts – the link is on the homepage, in the top box on the right side of the page. Enjoy!

Del.icio.us Tag Clouds & Sharing of LibGuides

We have added several important new features to LibGuides recently. Among them is the full integration with Del.icio.us – a popular tagging and social bookmarking service. Librarians can quickly and easily add their del.icio.us tag cloud to LibGuides using a “Del.icio.us Tag Cloud Content Box”.

Simply enter your del.icio.us username and tell LibGuides how you want your tags displayed (see below)

Del.icio.us popup user box

With a few clicks, you get your shiny del.icio.us tag cloud displayed on the LibGuides page.

Del.icio.us Tag Content Box

The integration goes both ways – every visitor to LibGuides can save and share their favorite guides on Del.icio.us, but also on Facebook, LibMarks, or send an email with the Guide link to a friend:

Save & Share Guides

Visitors to any Guide will find the “share or email” link next to the Guide Title – it is a folder icon displayed right next to the title of the Guide.